Storytelling

North American tribal legend of Long Arrow and Elk Dog

Storytelling is integral to the history of human beings in a bewildering variety of oral and visual formats. We tell stories about who we are, where we are going, what we hope for and what we fear. By telling and retelling stories we make sense of our lives, the things we do, how we relate to other people and what our place is in the world. The jobs, practices and professions we take up tell their own stories, using their own languages and understanding themselves and communicating to others through the stories they hone and refine. Stories and storytelling are also a fundamental tool in recording personal, familial, communal, national and international histories and the shaping of individual and collective identities.


The Interdisciplinary Storytelling Initiative

We are presently establishing The Interdisciplinary Storytelling Initiative (TISI). The aims of the initiative is to

~ explore Storytelling as an interdisciplinary medium and tool capable of building bridges and forming pathways between disciplines, professions and practices
~ create a repository of materials, information, knowledge and experience
~ generate a focus for the sharing of good practice
~ begin a series for exemplary publishing showcasing interdisciplinary storytelling

If you would like to be a part of the initiative, please drop us a line letting us know about your areas of research, profession or practice and a short list of your storytelling interests.


Streams

Storytelling and the Body
We live in an era where stories about bodies – missing bodies, glamorous bodies, engineered bodies, trafficked bodies, dismembered bodies, persecuted bodies – are omnipresent. While bodies are literally made of flesh and blood, our understanding of bodies is constructed through fictional and non-fictional stories that shape perceptions of what constitutes the body, how a body should look, how a body should behave, how a body should experience the world and how bodies should interact with each other.


Storytelling, Health and Illness
Throughout history, people have felt a need to tell each other stories about the ordinary as well as the surprising experiences of being alive, particularly in relation to health, wellbeing, illness, disease and death. Telling stories was – and still is – a way of recording and grappling with the origins, causes and prevention of illnesses and disease that surrounded them in everyday life.


 

Storytelling and Trauma
Storytelling is inextricably linked to the history of human beings in a wide variety of oral and visual formats. Storytelling has been a fundamental tool to recording personal, familial, communal and national stories. But it can also be linked to a process of working through trauma, of breaking silence as witnessed in the growth of a “communal digital storytelling” embodied in the rise of shared storytellings of trauma such as #MeToo and #TimesUp

 


Development Team

The Storytelling project is initially being developed by a small global team. As the project begins to evolve and in light of the events and activities we run, further members will be added to the development team. If you would like to join and help develop the future of the project, please drop us a line.

Cristina Santos is an Associate Professor at Brock University where she teaches in the Dept. of Communications, Popular Culture and Film. Her work focuses on sexuality and gender studies from an intersectional feminist perspective. Her interests are in exploring the construct of “monstrous women” from an interdisciplinary and multi-cultural approach as seen in literature, film, television, popular culture and mythology. She also investigates the construct of political and social deviance and trauma in life narratives as the construction of a personal and communal sense of identity that challenges official history and patriarchy. Her teaching and research is informed by feminist theory, post-colonial discourse, theory of alterity and gender and sexuality studies. Most recently, she is the author of Unbecoming Female Monsters: Witches, Vampires, and Virgins (2016) editor of various volumes, amongst which is Virgin Envy: The Cultural (In)significance of the Hymen (2016).

Jeremy Vaughan has spent most of his life educating. His multi faceted background has put him in advisory roles for engineering firms, museums, libraries and other educational resources. He has taught in classrooms, on job sites, through newspapers as a photographer and even on race tracks. He believes teaching is more valuable from a hands on perspective rather than solely being book taught.

He received his MFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, an interdisciplinary program that utilizes Tufts’ academic Programs and the Museum school’s cross disciplined studio practice.

His book Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before is a self reflective analysis of travel and relationships. His current project Once I was a Jigsaw Puzzle Made of Ivory consists of Photographs and stories surrounding victims and survivors, care givers and scientists immersed in the world of cancer.

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